Becoming legally separated involves a process similar to that of divorce in Hawaii. A couple must present themselves before a family court if they wish to file for a legal separation.
In Hawaii, should the family court deem it appropriate, legal separation can only last for a maximum of two years. In this case, legal separation means that no matrimonial action can be taken during this time and the couple will not be sleeping in the same bed or under the same roof.
If a couple files for separation in Hawaii, the court may require one spouse to pay support to the other. This could be spousal support, child support or both. The family court will decide how much support will be paid.
Should one spouse not be capable of paying support as required, payment might be taken out of any property the couple owns. The court attempts to be as equitable as possible in deciding whether property should be utilized or divided for support during a separation.